Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Blood Beach (1981, Jeffrey Bloom)

John Saxon better have gotten paid well for being in this 1980s turkey, cause Blood Beach sucks. Oh does it suck in so many different and lame ways, taking a decent premise and making a terrible movie out of it. Jeffrey Bloom sounds like a made up director name in a MAD Magazine spoof making fun of low budget horror cinema anyways.

The monster never really gets shown and when we finally catch a glimpse it looks pretty dull, really. It took me two days to watch this movie, not because it’s long but due to me not caring about anything that happened onscreen. Burt Young also is in this movie if only cause he was in between Rocky movie gigs. Look view this movie if you must, but if you do so try to view it for free like I did. If I had paid for this at a theater I would have left very angry.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Demonia (1990, Lucio Fulci)

Sadly by the 1990s it seems that the horror master Lucio Fulci had lost his touch, as evidenced by Demomia, which I was hoping would be a cool evil demon nun movie. Alas, it was a bad TV movie style flick where nothing interesting happens until the middle of the movie. Considering the rest of the movies I’ve seen from him are definitely not boring, this is disappointing. Plus this flick tries to be a slasher movie midway through instead of sticking with the killer demon ghost nun bit. Weak.

Even worse is that after years of good or at least decent leading ladies in his movies, Meg Register is really bad. I mean on a level that’s bad even for horror movie acting. She drains any energy this flick had in every scene she is in. I’m really bummed this movie wasn’t good, and I got that sad feeling when one sees a movie from a director they like that stinks. I’m glad I saw this for free on Tubi because if I paid to see this in theaters, I would have been really angry. As it stands it didn’t get a theatrical release, which is a good thing.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Pledge Night (1990, Paul Ziller)

If Pledge Night wasn’t on a streaming service, I never would have seen it. Then I would have been spared one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen in years. It’s really awful, which is too bad since the main villain is ok by slasher movie standards. Oh for some dumb reason Acid Sid doesn’t even show up until way too late in the movie. How can you have a slasher movie where no one gets killed until the flick is almost over? Lame.

I didn’t care about the people in this movie, and I guarantee in about a month I’ll forget I even watched this movie. The title is also dumb considering that the movie takes place over the course of multiple days. Imagine Animal House’s Kevin Bacon gets spanked scene only stretched out longer. Bad slasher movies such as this one do serve only good purpose: they make me appreciate the way better ones.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Cannibal Ferox (1981, Umberto Lenzi)

Every negative thing people said about Cannibal Holocaust applies instead to Cannibal Ferox, which is a wretched piece of trash. I didn’t mind the poor acting or the low budget, nope that wasn’t an issue. The problem is I didn’t care about what happened to any of the characters and the plot is really dumb. It’s all just an excuse to feature lots of gore and horrible things being done to people.

I’m reminded of Roger Ebert calling movies geek shows, and I sometimes felt he was being too harsh or getting up on his moral high horse. Yet I think he had a point at times and geek show definitely applies to Cannibal Ferox. This is a repulsive, lame excuse for a movie that I’m glad I saw on a streaming service instead of in theaters. I’m also maybe a little unnerved that I wasn’t affected by this movie. Perhaps I watch too many horror movies every year.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Mortuary (1983, Howard Avedis)

Mortuary starts off in a decent 1980s slasher movie fashion, even having a goofy seance moment. This movie has Bill Paxton and wastes his talents, descending midway through into a silly, weak mess of a movie. The characters are not very bright, and the obvious is ignored in favor of continuing the movie. Mary Beth McDonough’s Christie keeps telling her mom that someone is after her, and she responds by dismissing her daughter’s concerns as hysterical.

Personally if someone kept telling me someone is stalking them, I would believe them. However that probably would have cut down the movie’s run time, I guess. Look I can abide dumb behavior in horror movies up to a point, yet this movie specializes in dumb behavior beyond annoyance. Sadly this was Christopher George’s final movie, which is a shame as he was a really good actor not afraid to take any role. He’s not even given a chance to ham it up here or have much of a presence beyond a lame father role.

There are much better 1980s slashers, ones that are more fun or actually frightening. Mortuary is a disappointment, and even the last act stinks. The worst thing about this movie is that isn’t not even bad enough to be more than forgettable. In a year all I will have to remind me I ever saw it is this review.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Fade To Black (1980, Vernon Zimmerman)

Sometimes people fail to distinguish between fantasy and reality, especially if they spend too much time outside the real world. This is what happens to young Eric, who ends up losing his mind and goes over the edge in the 1980 cult flick Fade To Black, which borrows somewhat from Taxi Driver and even Maniac. However I think that Fade To Black works as it’s own flick for the most part, and it helped to add to the now cliche “Person goes crazy” flick that has been popular over the years.

Eric though has a trouble life, barely holding onto a job and living with his overbearing aunt. He even gets stood up by a nice Marilyn Monroe lookout (her name is even Marilyn!) that he worked up the courage to ask out. Events spiral out of control and soon Eric is committing crimes based on the movies he loves way too much. I felt a little uneasy watching this flick since I love movies too much myself, although certainly not enough to dress up as characters from them. Being able to tell the difference between reality and fantasy is a good thing.

Also I go outside once in a while, something that poor Eric probably should have done more often. Nope he instead loses it completely, changing his name, killing an annoying coworker and attracting the attention of the local police. Maybe in the end the guy was always a bit unstable, and he never had a chance. I think Eric is definitely the kind of guy who people talk about after they’ve gone on a crime or killing spree. The type you see on the news and you wonder what they were thinking.

Sure Fade To Black is cheesy, and the acting isn’t the greatest at times. The film wasn’t exactly high budget, yet I still am thinking about it so the whole thing worked anyways. It helps that Dennis Christopher takes over the film and carries it through the rough parts-you want to keep watching to see what he does next. Perhaps that is enough.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Car (1977, Elliot Silverstein)

Elliot Silverstein’s The Car is both a demonic presence movie and a Jaws ripoff all in one marvelous, campy package. The opening death scenes are well done, and the car itself is an evil force bearing down upon the unlucky small town it decided to roll into. James Brolin is the local hero desperately trying to save people from a four wheeled menace that doesn’t have a driver and seems to have the world’s greatest gas mileage.

Kathleen Lloyd and Ronny Cox also star, and I wonder if this movie inspired Stephen King to write Christine. One car kill is both shocking and really well done, and the final act is pretty entertaining. If you are looking for a solid entry in the killer car genre, then The Car is a worthy choice. I can see why this was one of the 1970s horror movies to be restored by Anchor Bay and also by Scream Factory.

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